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Definition for

Priority Date

A priority date is the date assigned to a water right by the water court, reflecting the first time water was put to beneficial use or when a conditional right was secured. The older the priority date, the more senior a water right is and the more likely it will be entitled to water during dry periods. The more recent the priority date, the more junior a water right, and the less likely it will receive water in times of scarcity.

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